Sunday, March 9, 2014

Atlanta Day 2

Today started early again. Losing an hour of sleep certainly didn't help! We were at Ebenezer Baptist Church by 7:45 for the morning church service. Ebenezer Baptist Church is the church that Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr. were both senior pastors. I have never been to a Southern black Baptist church service before and WOW. Just WOW. It was amazing! First, the music was unbelievable. We were quite surprised when we found out that the guest choir was Essence of Joy from Penn State. They were incredible. Rev. Warnock gave a fantastic sermon about not letting your over-extended lives hold you down and how you need to not take yourselves too seriously. It seemed like a very appropriate message for the college students in attendance. We weren't the only college group there this morning. Marquette's Civil Rights Spring Break group was also there and we chatted with them for a few minutes afterward. They are traveling in the same direction that we are so, who knows, we may run into them again in Alabama.

After the service, we spent two hours at the King National Historic Site. We had a tour of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s childhood home. It was fascinating to hear the stories of MLK as a child. Apparently, the philosophy of non-violence is a process because the ranger told a story of how MLK hit his brother over the head with a telephone.

Leo reading about Dr. King at King NHS.

Jennie, Lydia and Brittley learning about the marches
at King NHS.

Erik, Lydia and Rajasri learning about
segregation at King NHS.
After stopping at a Tunisian restaurant for lunch, I now know what to do with that jar of harissa in my refrigerator! We spent the afternoon at the Atlanta History Center. They had a great museum with rooms devoted to the 1996 Olympics, the Civil War, Southern arts and crafts and even one on golfer Bobby Jones. However, the excitement seemed to come when our students found out that the Swan House, which is a mansion that is part of the museum grounds, was used as a location for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was the president's mansion in the film and Martha was especially excited. We easily could have spent at least another hour touring the gardens and farm, but they closed at 5pm.

Erik, Lydia and Chanda watching Rajasri trying
out the dollhouse at the Atlanta History Museum.
Christian, Leo, Quinn and Martha walking down
the staircase of the Swan House.

Leo, Quinn and Christian lounging in front of the Swan House.
Before going to dinner, we made a quick stop at The King Center so we could take some pictures at Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King's tomb.

The group at the King Center reflecting pool.

Leo at MLK's tomb.

Tomorrow we get up and head off to Birmingham!

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